Thursday, February 03, 2011

"A former lady friend in Chitown I miss"

Stephen Doe has a Facebook page. He made a "friend" request to me last year and I just ignored it. I didn't realize that requests sit there if you don't delete them. So, while I was farting around on Facebook yesterday during my snow day off, I happened to rediscover it. Giving in to that same impulse that makes you probe a cavity with your tongue, I clicked on his page.

And there I was under INFO. His favorite quote was my favorite quote from those long ago days when we were lovers:
"I believe we each get 2 lives. The one we learn from and the one we live after that." The Movie "the Natural"
From a former lady friend in Chitown I miss.

I remember clearly how good he was at manipulating me and I know he chose that quote for my benefit. In case someday I happened onto his Facebook page. I looked at his photo album and saw that it has no bearing on the life he lived here, when we were together. He hunts, is very disrespectful of Obama, has been married 21 years (celebrated their 20th with a trip to Paris; he was a baggage handler for an airline) and has two teenaged daughters,* and is friends mostly with younger women from his work. Not surprising. Oh, and he's lost his hair, which cheers me up because he is vain and I am petty.

In 2008, he reached out to our friend John, out of the blue, asking permission to contact me. Upon seeing how upset I was by the communication, John refused to grant "permission." (John didn't expect me to react so strongly. Weird though this may sound, I always tried to protect Stephen's reputation and never told our friends how bad things were back in those long-ago days when we were together.)

In 2009, he shot an email to my office. While I was completely creeped out that he could figure out the naming convention used by the multi-national corporation I work for, I ignored it the best I could and moved on.

In 2010, he tried Facebook. I suppose I should brace myself for him calling me someday. But, since I have Caller ID at both home and work, I will know it's him and can/will refuse to pick up. He disturbs me, yes, but he doesn't frighten or intimidate me anymore.

What does nag at me, though, is why he cares. Why after more than 20 years did he start contacting me? Why does he miss me?

I remember loving him. I recall the intensity of the feeling. After all, we were together for a decade. I remember good times with friends.

But, for the life of me, I can't recall what we had in common or why I loved him so. He was good looking and charming, yes. But he was shallow and cruel and, in retrospect, I think his greatest gift was being able to become who he believed his audience wanted him to be. I don't think I ever really knew him because I'm not sure there's anyone there to really know.

I know he has re-engaged with his Catholicism and feels guilty about how he treated me. And he should. While he wants my forgiveness, he's not getting it. That's between him and God. My biggest journey over these past decades has been forgiving myself for allowing him to abuse me, for staying and hanging on until it got so bad he literally gave me no choice but to let go.

Which is why I wonder why he "misses" me. Why, after we split in December, 1987, he began reaching out to me in spring 2008. Why he won't let me go.

I'm not speaking to him ever again. He's not trustworthy and there's nothing to be gained from it. But I wonder what he remembers so fondly, because when it comes to that, I got nothing.

*How lovely that he gets to have biological children while one of his more heinous actions resulted in childbearing being difficult for me.